What I Did to Prep This Week

What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 76: December 22nd 2019 – December 28th 2019

DIY pottery wheel

Hello Pack. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I love Christmas and spend months preparing for it, but come 2 p.m. on Christmas day I have my tree down and the mess cleaned up and am glad it is all over. My Bobby loved the DIY manual pottery kick wheel that I commissioned some tribe members to make him for Christmas – a definite prepper holiday gift.

I was not sure if he would want the pottery wheel painted or stained, so tricking it out will be a project this weekend now that Bobby has received his gift. I also bought two durable yet soft door mats to nail onto the wood bench seat to make it more comfortable.

One of our tribe members wants to adapt it even further, but wanted Bobby’s approval before doing. He devised a plan to use a tire and mechanism from a 10 speed bicycle and the pedals to make an alternate manual power source to the kick wheel for ease of use on large projects and extended work sessions.

It would function basically like a pedal on an old-fashioned manual sewing machine (which we have two of for clothes making and repair preps).

Bobby thought the idea sounded incredibly cool, so his DIY pottery wheel Christmas gift remains a work in progress. He snagged one of the empty tool boxes we like to pick up at yard sales for organized small prep storage, and put all of the pottery tools I also got him inside.

We did not get the kiln built before Christmas, but have the plans and supplies to make it this weekend. We are going to once again raid Bobby’s “junque” piles and use one of the old kitchen stoves from our former rental properties to make the propane powered forge.

It will actually be a multi-fuel source design because the bottom drawer of the stove will be adapted to turn the kiln into a wood fire one as needed.

It is now time to pull out our annual piece of posterboard with diagrams of survival retreat improvements on one side and notes – list on the other to gauge wheat we have accomplished or altered over the course of the year … and get out a fresh piece of posterboard and start all over again.

I do not look forward to the annual grading and survival retreat planning session as much as I do Christmas, but I sure do love doing it. It is exciting to see how far we have come, lament a bit over what projects did not get completed or turned out as successfully as planned, give high-fives over clever ideas we came up with over the course of the year, and plan for future improvements.

I am pretty sure I have mentioned the online auction I discovered a few months back in previous columns, but I wanted to touch base on it again because of all the incredible preps and general money savers I am finding on there. I think I am currently bidding on 75 or so items.

Because I have purchased hundreds of items on the online auction already, I cannot recall the exact price I paid for everything without looking it up on my digital auction receipts, but I can give pretty accurate ballpark figures for everything – I just love bargain preps and gifts!

All of the items are new, but some are graded as “open box.” Those are likely returns that may be “scratch and dent” or not work. Those are a buyer beware kind of situation and go the cheapest.

But, if you are handy, maybe you could score an electric automatic chicken plucker for less than $10 that goes from non-functional to functional in less than an hour of work.

All of the auction items I am going to detail below were graded “appears new” or “brand new.” If you inspect the items and plug them in, etc. before leaving the local auction pickup spot – which in our case is a building at the fairgrounds, you get a refund or can barter a discounted price, if the item does not measure up to the listed expectations.

  • Coleman sleeping bag – $.75
  • Baofeng UVR5 Radio – $.30
  • Baofeng UVR5 Radio – $3.65
  • BlackFin Radio 2 Pack – $9.75
  • BlackFin Radio Solar Charger – $5.00
  • 3-Person Tent – $9.65
  • Pop Up Canopy – $3.45
  • 7-Gallon Cast Iron Cauldron with lid, stand, and lifter – $83.00
  • Inflatable Camping Pillow – $.45
  • Enamel Baking Pan – Large 2 Pack – $.55
  • 3-inch gel foam mattress topper queen – $1.75
  • Left Handed Recurve Bow – $5.55
  • Compound Box Pistol – $9.00
  • Snow Shoes and Bag – $8.95
  • Little Boy’s Shoes with tags – 5 at $.10 each
  • Little Girl’s Shoes with tags – 9 at $.25
  • New Little Boy’s Pants – 8 at $.35 each
  • Women’s Winter Coat – $6.95
  • Men’s Thermal Knee Socks – 9 pairs with tags $.55
  • 2 Large Plastic Totes – $2.35 each
  • Galvanized Metal 6 Section Nesting Box Set – $5.75
  • Electric Chicken Waterer Heater – $3.45
  • Bolt of Canvas Fabric – $3.55
  • Queen Size Quilt – $6.55
  • Sheet Sets in Queen, Full, and Twin – $2.35 to $7.25
  • Queen and Full Comforter Sets – $5.95 – $10
  • Pillows 2 to 4 piece sets – $.55 to $3.25
  • Medium Molle Pack – $5.95
  • Gross of Mylar Emergency Blankets – $12.55

Here is a short list of equally cheap new condition items that I did not bid on because we did not need them but are also great preps:

  • Various hitches and receiver
  • Car parts
  • Vehicle tires
  • Chainsaws – new and “open box” grade
  • Pole Saws
  • Shovels
  • Axes
  • Small manual tool sets
  • Buckets
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Turkey Fryer

I also purchased multiple new in box Melissa and Doug and Kidkraft dollhouses, play kitchens, pretend play grocery stores, and Lego sets for roughly 75 percent off of the list price.

This particular online auction is only serving a few states, but I am sure there are others like it since bulk pallet buying and reselling in such the rage at the moment.

This Week’s Questions:

  1. What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?
  2. What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored?
  3. Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains?
  4. What did you do to prep this week?
Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, 'Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out', Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.
View all posts by Tara Dodrill →

123 thoughts on “What I Did To Prep This Week – Week 76: December 22nd 2019 – December 28th 2019

          1. Top, you speak into your computer I type on an 8″ touch screen. Sometimes it doesn’t work as designed. You sometimes leave SIC> on it…..LOL

          2. Thor1,

            you speak into your computer I type on an 8″ touch screen. Sometimes it doesn’t work as designed.

            Actually I type on an ergonomic keyboard and occasionally the computer speaks to me, reading text that takes too long to read with my eyes when magnified.

    1. Puppy had a Merry Christmas, he was gifted 2 new Frisbees, a nèw collar and a bag of dog treats.
      These all fell off Santa’s sleigh as he preformed his guard dog duties and chased him off.

      The prime rib came out exceptionally good that the Mrs. Cooked. Puppy got his own piece too. Fat removed. Daugter #1 and her fiancé arrived and she brought her 1 year old husky with her. This was not acceptable by puppy who is very protective. It was their first encounter. Her fiancé took her pup outside on a leash and it managed to get out of it’s collar and take off into the woods being chased by 3 people and eventually being caught and taken home. Trouble maker.

      Inside Garden
      Planted new herbs and spinach
      Lettuce is doing great.

      Outside Garden
      Carrots & onions & chives are doing great

      Food
      Bought health food for workout diet
      Fish, chicken, beef, Kale, spinach, eggs, onions, beets ect.
      Milk and whey protein

      Water
      2 cases

      Security
      Did some medium range shooting at 600yrds not bad 3inch group.
      Mag member has a civilian version of a saw so I got to shoot it too.

      Martial Arts
      Practiced and taught handgun and long gun weapon disarmament.
      Practiced and taught escape moves from a full Nelson and RNC hold.

      Gym
      100 pushups daily
      100 sit-ups / backups on the ab machine daily and 25 side crunches with 100lbs of weight
      Curls, bench press, leg lifts and curls
      Treadmill, exercise bike, stair stepper, dog walks
      Heavy bag, speed bag

      Christmas gifts
      Received a 4 pack of NA-771 15.6″ antennas
      Recieved a Baofeng programming cord
      Received a pair of nutcracker boxer shorts…LOL
      Received a Jeep hat, rain guards and hand holds for getting in Jeep as well as a seat mounted flashlight and holder.

      Thor’s questions:

      1. Have you heard of 250,000 UN troops in Cuba?
      2. Do you think they will be deployed to Virginia or used in civil unrest?
      3.Have you heard of many drones in Colorado?
      4. What is your new year’s resolution?

      1. Tara’s questions:

        1.What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?
        2.What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored?
        3.Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains?

        1.Get off bp medicine, greenhouse, purchasing a log cabin.
        2. $1000 off on a stainless freeze dryer.
        3. Prepping stores, flea markets, yard sales

        1. Also saved $600 off of a Kodiak solar generator with 400w of panels.

          $200 off of a Leopold mark 4 long range tactical scope

          $200 off of a Kimber 8400 police tactical 300WM

      2. That’s better Thor1

        Puppy must have been good last year…
        No way would I bring another dog to your house…

        Thor’s questions:

        1. Have you heard of 250,000 UN troops in Cuba? No
        2. Do you think they will be deployed to Virginia or used in civil unrest? Hmmmm
        3.Have you heard of many drones in Colorado? No
        4. What is your new year’s resolution? Don’t make one

        1. Thors questions. Yes,( about a month ago) Yes..if any way possible to disrupt., yes( rumor they are by deep state operativesif they were by any one else who would be so stupid as to admit it.? .,) to make no resolutions.

      3. Thor1,
        Your questions
        1. Have you heard of 250,000 UN troops in Cuba?
        No and I doubt that President Miguel Díaz-Canel and First Secretary Raúl Castro would allow it
        2. Do you think they will be deployed to Virginia or used in civil unrest?
        You mean the UN? I suspect not, since it would be a losing battle with most counties declaring a 2nd amendment sanctuary including sheriffs.
        3. ave you heard of many drones in Colorado?
        Not specifically; but, there are drones everywhere. I have two small ones and I have friends with professional models. There were probably hundreds more handed out this past week for Christmas.
        4. What is your new year’s resolution?
        I no longer make them. I just live for my goals and by my principles daily and find that easier than some contrived yearly set of goals.

        1. Top, proofreading required……glasshouses……

          .” ave you heard of many drones in Colorado?”

          “H”….. LOL

          Lookup drones 8n Colorado…..

      4. Thors questons

        1 heard nothing and i suspect its an overinflated number misrepresented from something unrelated

        2 see above, i doubt it for multiple reasons

        3 nope

        4. i don’t follow the georgian calendar

      5. Thor’s questions:

        1. Have you heard of 250,000 UN troops in Cuba?

        Nope. Very unlikely the Cuban Government would allow that. Plus I asked my Ex (a Cuban). She said the same thing.

        2. Do you think they will be deployed to Virginia or used in civil unrest?

        Nope. Even if there were 250,000 UN troops, there would be 250,000 dead, wounded, or captured UN troops not long after invading Virginia or any other place in the US.

        3.Have you heard of many drones in Colorado?

        Yes. Supposedly they are not military type drones.

        4. What is your new year’s resolution?

        To survive until next year.

        1. Z36, I was hoping you might have some Intel on Cuba since your ex was from there.

          Weird with the multiple drones flying at night in Colorado.

      6. Thor1,

        3.Have you heard of many drones in Colorado?

        OK I finally found this one and have my own theory.
        It’s Amazon making test runs for last mile delivery and not everyone in the chain has been informed.
        This is also the reason the FAA is looking to add mandatory transponders to all drones. Especially for what could appear on radar to be swarms.

      7. Thor1 and Everyone Else,

        I picked a link up off of Drudge today that goes to InfoWars. Whatever you think of them, they reported the UN had posted a job position for DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILIZATION AND REINTEGRATION OFFICER, P4. One of the requirements for the job is knowing the English language, with French desired, but optional.

        The InfoWars link:
        https://www.infowars.com/why-is-the-un-hiring-english-speaking-disarmament-officers-in-new-york/

        The job description was very interesting, so I checked the UN job site myself and found that, sure enough, the InfoWars report is accurate.

        UN link:
        https://careers.un.org/lbw/jobdetail.aspx?id=127453&Lang=en-US

        The pay grade is P4, which I had to root around on the UN site to find their pay scales. P4 is $67,000 – 106,000 USD/year. This is what they call a mid-career professional.

        As much as I doubted any UN involvement in disarming Americans, this job posting is making me re-think my position.

        I suggest anyone interested/concerned should either read the InfoWars article or go to the UN site. The UN site does give more info and no commentary.

          1. JP in MT,

            In the careers info on the UN page, they state that English and French are the two official languages of the UN. The job description requires English proficiency. French is merely a nice to have.

            So I don’t think it is aimed at Canada at all.

        1. Z36, good research….

          Its about to get real with Iran. Fill up your vehicles gas prices are going to go up….

          Terrorist cells maybe activated here do to the death of the Iranian general….

          1. Thor1,

            I just prefer to verify anything that comes out of InfoWars. Sometimes they’re right.

            Iran is going to get interesting. A+ to Trump for zapping that useless, dangerous creature.

            When I read the first reports, they were saying he was killed by Katyusha rockets. I thought BS, those things aren’t accurate enough to pick out specific (moving?) targets at range and have a good chance of a bullseye. Even using their proper launchers. I know. I got shot at by them enough in Vietnam.

            I’ll bet he was killed by Apache launched Hellfires. Those are plenty accurate enough and powerful enough to do the job. The initial reports also said there were US helicopters flying nearby.

            The question I have is: Why was that guy in Iraq in the first place? I’ll bet he was directly involved in the US embassy kerfuffle.

          2. One report is saying “The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.”

          3. AT,

            That’s as good a reason to whack that guy as any. Nice that the US got the group package too.

            As they say down in my neck of the woods, “He just needed killing.”

        2. Z36, it never ceases to amaze me of the stupidity of the Democrat elects. According to Dems
          Its ok to kill Americans in Benghazi but not OK to kill the enemy who is plotting to kill Americans ???

          Also how could ANY state want to disarm Americans now?

          Also not close the border with a fence?

          Democrats, we know whose side your on and its not ours.

          1. Thor1,

            That is the way delusional people think. Dems think they are the anointed of their god (aka: Karl Marx) and have divine right to rule over us. They also think, once they are fully in charge, they will demonstrate their loving kindness to the world and evil governments, like Iran, will fall all over in joyful togetherness (kumbaya, y’all).

            And to become fully in-charge, they have to disarm the populace who might take issue with the take-over. After all, we don’t know what’s good for us, we have to be guided.

  1. Regarding Tara’s questions this week, I’m gonna start from bottom to top.

    I find lots of things at gw stores, especially between the week after Christmas and the New Year. Folks are dumping their junk for tax writeoffs. Another person’s junk is someone else’s treasure.

    My biggest prepping bargain was at an estate sale. I came by later in the day when they were almost finished, and they practically gave me a truck load of tools and a smoker. Sweet deal!

    For 2020 prepping plans, I haven’t decided everything yet. I do plan to do some work on my bug out location, so that’s all I have at the moment.

    Happy New Year everyone. May you all be safe, healthy and happy as we enter a new decade!

  2. Good morning everyone,

    Tara, you have found a gold mine there in that online auction. I checked and it’s not available in my area. I think your food storage shelving was one of your best prep’s. Thanks for sharing the pics.

    I spent Christmas day at a coworker’s house, spending the night since it is a little far away and we watched movies up until late into the night, coming back home Thursday. We had a nice time, and I was able to share a few prepping tips with her. I brought back some food that will last me a few days. I hate to waste food. She got the food at Cracker Barrel on Christmas Eve, and their gravy was sooo good. I love gravy.

    Tuesday, I was cleaning up the left over wood from the under the house project and ended up pulling a pectoral muscle on my right side. I picked up, from the ground, one at a time of course, a couple of 4″ x 6″ x 8′ pressure treated posts, along with 2 4″ x 4″ x 8′ posts and carried them over to the shed. The 4″ x 6″ x 8′ posts were really more than I could pick up… I should have dragged them… Stubborn me told myself “no, I can do this” and did, but now paying for it… So, yesterday, after doing some research and checking customer reviews, I went to Lowe’s and bought a 2 flat-free wheeled, 7 cu ft, steel, wheelbarrow. Odd that I have never bought one before, so now that deficient has been remedied. And now I know why they have a cable and lock on them. WOW. Had no idea they cost as much as they do. I couldn’t find one on FP MP to purchase. My moving guy will bring it home Sunday.

    Went to WM after the Lowe’s trip and bought some more totes as organizing is still on the agenda. Checked out all the sales and didn’t see anything I needed. Did also buy a 15 lb bag of dry Purina cat food, and it was the LAST bag. There were no other bags of Purina food on the shelves. On the other shelves for Special Kitty food, there was only 1 big bag there as well. The remaining bags were the smaller 3 lb bags. Very odd since this was fairly early in the morning, which would have been after they have restocked. I need to stock up some more cat food.

    Bought some more books –
    All by Christopher Vasey, N.D.
    Natural Compresses & Poultices: Safe and Simple Folk Medicine Treatments
    Natural Remedies for Inflammation
    Natural Antibiotics and Antivirals
    Bought the same for my brother and “Comfort for the Burned and Wounded” by John Keim

    Ordered some Harvest Guard canning lids – Thanks for the mention 0ldhomsteader.

    Ordered some Ball 6-Pack Wide and Regular Mouth Leak-Proof Storage Lids from Blain’s Farm and Fleet. These will be good for storing dry items as they are leak-proof and air-tight. Not to be confused with vacuum sealing dry goods.

    Waiting to order “Just-Add-Water Recipes in a Jar or a Bag” from 21st Century Simple Living. Colleen is sending it to the publisher/editor on January 2nd. It’s recipes for dehydrated food.

    Tara’s questions:
    What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?
    Put in a raised bed garden and plant some things.
    Figuring out my water storage situation.
    Praying to secure a job with my company that will allow me to work from home so I don’t have to go to the city. And hoping the fiber optics line gets done sooner than later so I can get rid of my satellite internet connection and get a home phone again.

    What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored?
    Not sure. Many things I have added have been free.

    Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains?
    Anywhere and everywhere, always on the hunt. Thrift stores, ebay, FB MP.

    Prayers for unspoken requests, for healing, for The President and for America.

    Happy New Year everyone. Be safe and stay alert.

    1. Oh, I also ordered and received “Frequency – The Digital Matrix- Mark of the Beast” by Stewart Best. It can only be ordered directly from him. There is a volume 2 out that I plan to order, and he is working on volume 3.

  3. Tara’s questions

    1 currently i have been cleaning up an area to convert to hay field, i doubt i will get it done this year given a lack of money, but i can do most of the work except stump grinding. second i plan to finish cutting the last white pine on my lot and have them milled (have most down already, stacked as low grade wood or logs ready to take to mill, have 7 trees left to cut). the 3rd goal i have is to lime the garden.

    2 i once got a mosberg 500 in 20 gauge for $4, i had 4 morgan silver dollars in cull condition and my brother in law wanted them badly but didn’t know what they were worth, he kept pestering me to sell or trade them to him then offered me that shotgun as a trade. i accepted the trade. could also include all the free chickens i got over the years from peole who got them in the spring, didn’t know what they were doing, then gave up and offered them to me, usually groups of 12 or so. some were great birds, some were so determined to keep eating eggs they just got thrown in soup.

    3 not may places to pick from, i am not online much and can’t use most online services, craigslist stinks, not on facebutt, nothing else in the area, usually its odd one time things

    4 this week i was still on my strict ration diet, and i was out every day (except friday/yesterday which was freezing rain) working on cleaning up the area to convert to hay field, have to do when the ground is dry enough and no foliage so have seasonal limitations to do it in. i cut almost an acre cleaning all the scrub out cutting down old stumps left by a feller buncher, and cut and stacked firewood making a stack 40 feet long 4 feet high and 2 rows deep, piled all the slash. inside now taking an early 11am lunch but was otherwise cutting more scrub since sunup. friday i rode with my neighbor into town and saw another friend in town and picked up stuff he helped me order almost a month ago (can’t order stuff online easily so i gave my friend the money to order stuff), went along to town since it was raining (warmed up midday so roads were ok) and it was just something to do. my hard labor and rationing caused me to have to put another notch in my belt this morning.

    linking to pictures of the firewood stack (with me standing in front of it, i am 6’4″ tall, the trailer is 8′ long, for scale) and the area i been cleaning up, was a hay field once like the area on my neighbors lot, but was planted with scott pine and spruce 40 years ago, had it logged in 2016 and now cleaning it up to make it hay field again.
    https://postimg.cc/N9qy1mMZ
    https://postimg.cc/LnCnxr5t

    1. taking a short break again at 145, been using my brush saw since sunup and my wrist is bugging me now, but i got a significant area done as per the small stuff, going back out ina few minutes to run the chainsaw and take slightly larger stuff and prune lower branches on bigger stuff. goo weather expectd again tomorrow so i will be piling it all tomorrow, then monday through wednesday going to be freezing rain and sleet and occassional snow and high winds so i might not get much one those days.

      eyeing the steeper rocky slope on the northern end of the opened up area as a potential place to dig in to put in a small root cellar.

      figure 3 more good days with the brush saw to do all the small stuff i wanted to get done this winter, then about 5 days of piling slash, then maybe 16 days of sawing and stacking good firewood, 5 days inferior firewood (willow, cottonwood, pine) 5 days on logs for milling. had a very mild winter so far so it helps get this done, but it also means all the wood i am cutting won’t be in high demand in the fall. coming here makes up about 80% of my comunicating with people

    2. nemoseto,
      Instead of grinding the stumps, something we’ve done in thepast is drill deep vertical holes in them, sill the holes with kerosene and let them soak, Eventually they can be burnt out.
      We’ve also gotten a few chickens and ducks donated. Parants purchase these cute little things for their kids for Easter, not realizing they grow up and poop everywhere. Perhaps they should stick to marshmallow peeps. LOL

      1. would take a very long time, i have hundreds if not thousands of stumps to deal with, while many smaller ones i can cut flat with a chainsaw there are still far too many to deal with by burning (i know because i been buring them out in other areas). i can hire a guy with an excavator mounted grinder (able to pulverize rocks too) but it would run me $1000 an acre (based on what he charged for other people i know), plus i have to redig the ditch in this spot and connect it to the other ditches to drain, and there are a few deep ruts from when the loggers took out most of the trees.

        if i can cut them flat and just go over them then that would work well enough for the ones i can do but the big ones will need to be ground, have to get them all down so the area can be worked with a haybine (if i get my neighbor to do it) or a scyclebar mower and rotary rake and pitch fork (if i do it)

        thats often what i have found with people getting chickens, there shortsightedness just benefits me

        1. nemoseto,
          It’s too bad you live in NY. Here with a bit of paperwork you can still get explosives to remove stumps the old fashion way.
          Prefilled tubes of ANFO with an electric cap can be had legally without a lot of paper work; however, 9/11 did make things a bit harder.

    3. You have been a busy man! Wow, thats a lot of wood! You inspire me to get out in the pasture and finish cleaning it up! Happy New Year!

      1. thanks, thats just what i did sunday through thursday, in the summer months i would do twice that given that this time of year is the least daylight hours.

      1. i don’t really observe any calendar, doesn’t mean much to me and if not for coming here every week i probably wouldn’t even bother keeping track of what day it is. the only days i pay attention to are solar cross quarters (half way between a solstice and equenox), these are old Celtic agrarian holidays (Celts didn’t celebrate anything on solstice or equenox, just used them to calculate when the cross quarters would be). i also look at it based on day or night, or seasons.

        nothing other than coming here weekly plays any role in what i do, i don’t have any bills, i have no emploment, i’m not on any socialist welfare programs, nothing about my living has any relavence to the calendar so its just not something i pay attention to.

        i also don’t have any clocks, i base my time on the position of the sun.

        so i joke that i don’t observe the georgian calendar simply because i often have no idea what the date is (like the end of jeremiah johnson where jeramiah sees chris lap again and asks what month it is because he has no idea, and it turns out chris lap has no idea either)

        1. nemoseto,
          While I’m not quite as freewheeling as you, I often have to check the date or day of the week. I jokingly say I eat when I’m hungry and sleep when I’m tired; but, it’s often more true than not. With my vision issues I use a talking watch that tells me the time, day, and date at the touch of a button; but, there are often times I have to touch just to recall my point in space time.
          My watch sets itself automagically by listening to and decoding the 60 KHz station in Fort Collins Colorado (WWVB) the middle of every night and is this always accurate to less than 7 ms.
          I of course normally use the Gregorian calendar, also used in the international standard for Representation of dates and times; but, one of my clocks in the ham shack is set to ”Zulu Time” also called UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) that used to be called GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
          Using this, hams (and military) all over the world can coordinate their communications with no regard to times zones or daylight saving time.

          For those interested in UTC or GMT, look here: http://zulutime.net/

        2. Thanks for your accommodating my curiosity. stay healthy in 2020 and keep providing your input. It’s good to learn from others.

  4. 1. What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020? More of the same until we get to move.

    2. What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored? Nothing tremendous, just some small manual stuff at the Thrift Shops.

    3. Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains? Thrift Shops.

    4. What did you do to prep this week? Well….

    I ordered some gifts for the DW on Dec 3rd from Nina Cloak. They charged my account as soon as they got the order (fairly normal). One item was out of stock, they took a week to notify me, and 30 days to refund me (fairly abnormal). The order sat at the port in San Francisco for 6 days waiting for USPS to take possession for delivery. No response to my email enquiries, and they have a “spam prevention” coding that took 15 minutes to get through to send an email. Needless to say, I will never use these pirates again. (The order did get here for Christmas although they said the 26th.) When my DW opened them, we found that they run small, so let’s see what their return policy is.

    Supply run: Just stayed home.

    Received: 1×4 labels (5000), Mag-Pul Patrol gloves;

  5. Had a great Christmas, got new jeans and hoodies and socks and snacks and a Husky backpack blower and a new car cover for my 23 Ford T Bucket. I gifted a whole lot of cash to people that I though could use it and was happy with that.

    We had a live Nativity at church on Christmas eve and had a lot of people drive through to see and then stop off for hot chocolate and cookies. The turn out was good, met a lot of unchurched people who said they will visit this Sunday. They may or may not but the key is they know there is a place where they would be welcome.

    For Tara’s questions

    What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?
    1. Improve my amateur radio antenna situation with a tower and a yagi or two.
    2. Invest heavily in black powder revolvers and things that make them go boom. I have a LOT of regular ammo and a reloading set up but I am unschooled in the fine art of reloading and with my deteriorating eyesight it’s not something I’m likely to learn. Black powder is easy and if worse comes to worse I can cast my own bullets and make my own black powder. I’ll just have to make sure I have a lot of percussion caps.
    3. Expand our food and water storage. I talked to several family members over Christmas about what they would do if they had to bug out of if the SHTF. They let me know they had plans of going to a relatives place on the coast. This is 8 people that I though were going to come here and since they probably are not then I’m in better shape with what I have stored but if they do then I need to plan for that too.

    What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored? Best score was a Berky light water filter that I got as a door prize at TruPrep. Everything else I have paid up for.

    Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains? I like GoodWill and my best place is church yardsales. I have bags of knives that I got toward the end of sales where everything you can put in a Walmart bag you can buy for one dollar. Lots of candles that way too.

    What did you do to prep this week? Talked with other people and inventoried our stash of canned good and rotated everything so that the stuff come up on expiration will be the first to be used.

    Happy New Year to all and I hope you all have a very good year coming up.

    1. Cliff,
      As I read your post it seems we have much in common.
      I also shoot muzzleloader; but, right now only percussion cap rifles.
      I used to reload; but with my vision problems I sold my reloader to a friend and neighbor who is also a MAG member. It’s a Dillon RL 550B, with dies for 9 mm, 38 special, .357 magnum, and 5.56.
      I still have some cases, powder, bullets, and about 6000 small pistol primers so he will be doing some reloading with those components for me.

      I also have some antenna work to do; but, no Yagi’s for HF. I currently run an end fed long wire with a 9:1 Unun and have a new in box Hy-Gain AV-14AVQ Four-Band HF Vertical. I ran one of these for years; but, the traps stopped working and I had a chance to pick up another complete as well as parts to fix the one I have for only $80.00. I’m now just waiting for spring, since these old bones don’t do cold weather antenna work as they once did.

      I suspect like you one of the biggest pains (frustrations) in getting old are the inability to do things we once could easily do like climbing my own tower.

      It’s also hard to believe that our next session here will be next year.

    2. i had a pietta made colt navy 1860 when i was 19, got it for $100 in a gun show, never had ammo for it so i never shot it, it was then and still is legal even in ny to buy one, can even get them online, only becomes a legal issue if i were to load it. i sold my old one years ago for $200. fast forward to november this year and i to was looking into investing in black powder revolvers, was looking at the 1858 remington in stainless steel, a little more expesive but they don’t rust and are stronger metal than the original brass construction. colt was the better name but i heard the remingtons were the better gun. ended up loaning a friend the money and putting off buying the revolver

      i also read that there was a company that made a tool for making caps out of soda cans, but i hear they went out of business, still that leads me to think it can be done (homemade caps)

  6. 1) What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020? Expand the dry garden area and get more of the yard put into production. Reduce water use by 25% from last year’s high. Figure out the hydroponics so I can really use it next spring.
    2) What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored? Hm. Probably the All American canner for half off. The house in Kansas (on an acre, currently being rented) was big and important but probably not a bargain as such.
    3) Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains? No idea. I tend to get things on the fly when I’m looking for other stuff. Thrift stores, maybe.
    4) What did you do to prep this week? Anxiously waiting for more snow to hydrate the soil for spring.

    Slipped into planting mode (a hazard of giving myself seeds for Christmas), and I am trying to convert that to “planning” mode so I don’t end up with a houseful of plants that can’t even go out into the greenhouse yet…A minor problem with planning mode is that I end up with even more projects. : )

    1. Lauren,
      May I ask in general where you are located?
      I only ask because you emphasize water reduction and hope for more snow melt for hydration, while we’ve had too much water here the last few years.

      You finding something while looking for something else is familiar here also.

      1. Northern Utah. We can expect 12 inches of water per year on average–this year it’s been much less, I’m guessing about 2 inches. I’m also in an urban area and I suspect that water will be severely rationed next year as well as prices going up. I’ve cut my water use by about 3/4 in the last 5 years but I want zero dependence on municipal water for the landscape and gardens.

        If we get much less than normal, I’ll move forward on the transition to more dry gardens. The grape vines and fruit trees can fend for themselves if necessary.

        1. Lauren,
          Only 12 inches per year? Wow!!!
          Our normal average is about 37; but, counting the 1.1 inches we received yesterday, we just broke 40 (40.2) not counting snowfall.
          Much of that came like a monsoon in spring & early summer, making our planting in mid May, move to mid June. Our last frost day is typically May 15.

          1. May 15th here as well. The majority of the 12 inches IS snowfall. Water levels show just below “normal” for the year but that includes a wet spring. We’ve had about 8 inches of powdery, dry snow so far this winter. I guess it’ll be a real test of the dry gardens next summer.

          2. Lauren,

            We’ve had about 8 inches of powdery, dry snow so far this winter. I guess it’ll be a real test of the dry gardens next summer.

            Our total snowfall was perhaps 25 inches total with a combination of dry powder and wet pack over s few months; but, still quite a lot compared to you.
            Perhaps you could elaborate on your dry garden, since I’ve never really considered anything with that small amount of watering. Perhaps at least list some of the plants you grow and what crops and yields you achieve.

          3. I’m still working out the details. This will be the third year. At the moment I have two dry areas which didn’t get watered last summer. One is covered in a thick layer of leaves each fall, the other has a thick layer of woodchips. Temperatures range between 85 and 110 during the summer, usually in the 90’s and low hundreds with close to 0 humidity.

            Leaf mulch: The slugs and other plant eaters love this area. I have to protect the plants until they get a start. I considered doing woodchips, but leaves are more available and this needs to be easily workable if I can’t get resources from outside. I’m going to try planting starts next spring rather than in-ground. Zucchini and various other squashes have done pretty well previous years. Smaller plants, smaller yields. I tried tepary beans this year and the plants grew very well but didn’t flower until shortly before the first frost. So no beans. A single tomato and a single bell pepper were planted in this area as a test and survived, but no fruit.

            Woodchips: Last summer we got watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes with no watering. Not large yields, but better than nothing if we can’t get culinary water. Pumpkins and watermelons seem to produce normally. This is a landscaping area so eventually it will be transitioned to perennials.

            I’ll be transitioning two other areas to dry garden this spring. I continue to try different plants, and keep seeds from those that produce. Grapes need no water at all, they get everything they need from winter snowfall. I pulled the water off the fruit trees last summer, and they all produced. Fruit was smaller but there seemed just as much of it. Maybe one in ten of the almonds had empty shells. I think once a month deep watering will be sufficient for most of the trees, and if I can’t water at all I’ll still get a harvest.

            One “accidental” dry tomato succeeded in another area. I got maybe half a dozen fruit off it with no water at all. I was watering that area once a week for five minutes and the plant was surrounded by other plants that blocked the water. The sunflowers did great. 🙂

            At this point I’m fumbling around trying to figure out what will work the best.

  7. Hi Tara, Dan, & all,
    This was an interesting week with Christmas in the middle; but, a mild sinus infection that gave me laryngitis finally took a visit to the doctor on Boxing Day ( the day after Christmas) for a 10 day course of antibiotics. The DD was in for the week and she and the DW traveled to the eldest boy’s home on Christmas day, leaving me home with my contagion; but, bringing me back gifts and extra food. He’s a mechanical engineer, still single; but, cooks as well as anyone, so my take out meal was good. He’s also a shooter and spent a ton @ the local Wal-Mart when they were liquidating some of their shooting supplies. I was a beneficiary of his purchases. Christmas this year was neither white nor wet; but, a bit foggy.

    We are going to once again raid Bobby’s “junque” piles and use one of the old kitchen stoves from our former rental properties to make the propane powered forge.

    So is this a forge, a kiln, or both?

    This particular online auction is only serving a few states, but I am sure there are others like it since bulk pallet buying and reselling in such the rage at the moment.

    Since we’re both in Ohio, could you share the URL of the auction?

    Tara’s Questions
    1. What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?
    • Maple sugar (sugar shack completion, tapping, boiling & botling)
    • New soffits for the main house
    • New flooring for the main house
    2. What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored?
    That would be our property. 7.745 acres with a creek and small woods, 3100 square foot 12 room (4 bedroom) house with a good well & septic, a 1600 square foot post & beam barn, and 1600 square foot post & beam granary, 3 stall machinery shed, and chicken coop for $40,000.00 all in (1986 prices).
    3. Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains?
    Local yard sales & flea markets or the Habitat for Humanity Restore.
    4. What did you do to prep this week?
    See below.

    TOP’s question
    1. Have you ever visited a wine cave or any cave for that matter?
    2. Did you get all you wanted for Christmas?
    3. Is your Christmas paid for or will you be paying into the new year?

    This week we acquired and did the following.
    1. Received a LuminAID PackLite Nova Inflatable Solar USB Lantern from woot.com. Many have recommended this so at a good price I decided to try one even though we really don’t need another light. LOL
    2. Many of my other prep acquisitions this week were in the form of gifts from the oldest boy on Christmas day.
    • A life straw
    • 100 life size paper silhouette targets
    • Gerber Industrial EAB (Exchange A Blade) pocket knife (uses removable standard or contractor grade utility blades). I already have two of these; but, another is just good for backup.
    • RTIC 30 oz insulated stainless steel tumbler with handle
    • $50.00 Home Depot & Lowes gift cards
    • Ammunitions
    100 Remington Ultimate Defense 102 grain .380 auto BJHP
    Federal Personal Defense 99 grain Hydra Shok .380 auto JHP
    60 Federal Premium Personal Defense 380 ACP 99 Grain Hydra-Shok JHP
    We both shoot lots of 9 mm; but, he said a guy in front of him cleaned out with a shopping cart full of 9 mm, .38 Special & .357 magnum so he bought all of the .380 , knowing I could use it.

    1. tops questions
      wine cave no, several small natural caves ad rock shelters yes
      don’t observe christmas
      don’t observe christmas

    2. Top, if “he” bought all of the .380, how did you get any? What store was it? Did you know you can by ammo on line in bulk? CTD or Midway or Ga arms……right to your door…

      1. Thor1,

        if “he” bought all of the .380, how did you get any?

        That was .380 autos which he doesn’t use, so I got all he purchased.

        What store was it?

        As I stated above, it was one of the local Wal-Mart stores that was liquidating some of their ammunition and firearms related products.

        Did you know you can by ammo on line in bulk? CTD or Midway or Ga arms……right to your door

        I know and have had an account with AmmoMan.com for more than 20 years. Their advertised prices may be a little higher than others; but, their shipping is always free. I get weekly emails with their current deals.
        I recall about a dozen years ago a 1000 round case of 5.56 from them was delivered and sitting on the stoop. My DD told me it was there and asked if I wanted her to bring it in the house. I told her to bring it in; but, she passed, since that little box was heavier than she expected.

        1. jelous here, in the police state of ny it is illegal to buy ammo through the mail, the only way to get it is to go in person to a store or make it at home (i tinker with shotgun reloading since i don’t trust ammo to always be available after a decade unable to find some common ammo, was available online but never anywhere in 200 miles of looking).

    3. TOP’s question

      1. Have you ever visited a wine cave or any cave for that matter?

      No wine cave, but I have been in a bunch of caves on Okinawa used by the Japanese in WWII.

      2. Did you get all you wanted for Christmas?

      Yes, I did. My biggest gift was watching Granddaughter open her gifts.

      3. Is your Christmas paid for or will you be paying into the new year?

      All paid for.

  8. We had the best Christmas in many years. Having a child to buy for really inspired my wife. She had got a new rug for the living room after getting a new leather recliner couch and a 75 inch rustic barn door entertainment center with an electric fire place ( now I am ready if my 55 inch set dies). She strung a 38 ft long string of led lights along two walls of the living room and a few day before Christmas she got a 6 ft tall artificial tree at Lowes that was 50% off.

    We had a small group for Christmas dinner. My oldest daughter went to Virginia with her gentleman friend ( I can’t call a 45 year old college professor a boyfriend) , my oldest son was sick and my youngest son spent Christmas with his fiance’s family. We had my father in law, my youngest daughter with her daughter and husband.

    Of course the gift giving centered around the three year old. She was fully into opening presents. Her first and favorite was a bicycle. She has very good balance and was quickly riding it down the hall and into the living room ( it does have training wheels). Her dad showed her the hand brake and she made the most satisfied face when she squeezed it and stopped just before hitting the couch.

    For the forst time in years I got my wife a big present, she was going wild trying to guess what was in all those boxes, two of them fairly heavy. We saved hers for last, it was something she been hinting at for years. A crossbow, Carbon Express PileDriver 390 FPS. No, we haven’t shot it yet. It was missing two screws. It had a long screw where a short one was supposed to go and was missing one out of four other screws. After a few days of thinking I probed and found that the hole the short screw went into was deep enough for the long screw and I used a screw meant for the quiver mount that I am not using to replace the other missing screw. My wife is working now so we will have to wait until Monday. She wants the first shot.

    The reason I got this one? It came with a cocking crank and good thing it did. I doubt I could cock it with the rope and no way my wife could. Now I have to watch crossbow videos to learn how to best use it.

    Physically I haven’t been doing well. Six months ago my blood pressure shot up to 150 and greater, it took three medications to gt it down. Five days a go it dropped to 100 or less. I have only taken two pills since then and this morning it was 102 over 69. Also my potassium levels are high and my kidney function is dangerously low. Last night my wife, being a nurse, looked up all the medications I am taking and discovered my medications can cause all of my conditions. So for now I am stopping most of them, a few have to be cut down gradually, and change my diet. Being I do the shopping and cooking I only have myself to blame.

    On to Tara’s questions.

    What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?
    Build up my food pantry, fix my Kubota, install an off grid solar system.

    What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored?
    I would say the Kubota, It needed work but for $2500 I got a roto tiller that still has most of the paint on the tines, a barely used 48 in brush hog, 48 in box blade, 72 in angle blade, a 48 in disc harrow, a 16 in moldboard plow, a three point receiver hitch with a middle buster, boom pole, and winch pole.

    Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains?
    Facebook market place and Walmart

    What did you do to prep this week?
    Nothing but watch football.

    1. Daddio7,

      The reason I got this one? It came with a cocking crank and good thing it did. I doubt I could cock it with the rope and no way my wife could. Now I have to watch crossbow videos to learn how to best use it.

      I used to just cock mine with my fingers; but, now need a cocking rope and may soon need that crank.
      The main thing to remember with a crossbow is that while you hold and aim it like a rifle, it’s just a bow and has the same range limitations, so once you adjust the sights for a distance, distances closer or farther than that are hard to judge.
      Also make sure the fletched end of the arrow is pushed up tight against the string
      And, don’t be surprised if you occasionally see the arrow leaving and arcing to the target. It’s not an illusion, just a slow projectile.
      I’ve bagged a few deer with mine; but, it’s definitely not like a rifle or a compound bow.
      Good luck, have fun, and be safe.

    2. Daddio7 add a single serving of salt,(according to size listed on salt box) ..ONE time… to rebalance potassium. potassium and salt are supposed to be in perfect balance in the body.. one is too high the other is automatically too low… and vice versa. I learned this from my cousin who is /has been a lab. Supervisor for more than 40 years. They have changed the way it is displayed/written with newer machines and measurements, the principal STILL works… the new potassium sparing blood pressure meds cause a lot of this… drink water only..not excessve, normal amounts..
      things i would try./research…. lay off any inflammatory foods.. consider milk thistle/dandelion tea to detox the liver and kidneys.. Another possiblility is Cordyceps mushroom.it has been shown to help some people according to healthline and web md…if they say it helps and they are pharma based… it must be truly effective.
      Look up a class of herbals called adaptogens.. some of those may be effective …in addition to adapting kidney function they work on whole body including blood pressure modulation… there are herbals that bring blood pressure under control… according to herbal walk, by Darryl Patton…( he is a Dr in Herbs.) one of these is leaves of the sandberry or known in some places as huckleberry… same family as the blueerry…and it works similarly.The leaves are used to make a tea, 2 tbsp per cup.. it takes about 3 weeks for it to be fully effective…
      Hope these give you a foothold on taking care of this issue. since you wife is a nurse, I know that you are monitoring this closely.. for others who may be having, or have this in the future i am posting this… You know you should do a baseline heartrate and blood pressure before you put feet out of bed…. and be sure to rest for 5-10 minutes before each blood pressure check, thru the day… until stabilizes.. Get up very slowly. from laying to sitting. and from sitting to standing… if dizzy.. sit back and begin again.. any dizziness is sign of too low a blood pressure drop… DO NOTHING in a hurry. The result could be a life threatening fall if you should hit head on a harder object…
      Take care of yourself..

      1. Like someone else has posted I do not post too much about myself but being you took time to reply I will give an up date. A week ago Saturday my blood pressure dropped to less the 100. My doctor has me keep a running chart so I know when it started. I had an appointment that Monday and while most of my test results were great my potassium was high. I was taking a potassium saving diuretic. My pressure remand low so I stopped all my blood pressure meds last Tuesday. Actually I have stopped all my medications except for my thyroid medication. Blood pressure just now was 128 over 78 pulse 65.

        I know. now I am going to hear, ” OH, noes, you can’t just stop taking your medications”. Well, I feel better then I have in months. My wife is now off until Friday evening so I am under supervision. I am going to control my cholesterol with diet. Only low cholesterol foods from now on.

        1. Daddio7, the key to cholestrol is HEAlthy fats.. and very low sugar..( some people,.. it runs triglycerides up..) your body makes Cholestrol…. liver and kidney health are key.. Balance. You can do this.
          also use stress reduction techniques, prayer, meditation… Do your own research, for each of your problems… and keep good records, that will show you what works for you. More important, it will show you what does not work.you might try a b/p log with an activity/stress log side by side so you can see the comparison,
          This is your journey. Take care of yourself.
          Under those circumstances that is exactly what i would have done..stop anything that can cause the symptoms..just keep an eye on your numbers.Remember YOU are in charge of YOUR health. Great you have an assistant!( i was licensed nurse for more than 20 years… a skill , even if not licensed always can use the skill on family to help them with their care., be a voice for them,..i did./have. Do not give anyone else total control over You… When others take control they call all of the shots of your budget, your ability to do things or not do them..
          .. I am 60, I have hypoglycemia ( since I was 21- called pre diabetes, now. was told get this under control or you will be insulin dependent by time you are 30…) I went thru a time , was sick with low blood sugar every sunday,@ certain time.. traced it to not enough protein and added a serving of protein and half serving of carb and stabilized it… one example of how tracking can help you.
          . I still take no medications controlled by diet .high protein and low carbs..40-50 grams for a daily intake most days. i have a big long list of problems, take desiccated liver for anemia, K2 for mineral balance,.willow bark for pain, cranberry caplets for kidney issues… Usnea/ urinary support formula for a rare bladder infection…oil of oregano…for , fungals, antibacerial anti viral…,.i use herbal teas for sore throat, intestinal distresses and many other things… including because i love the orange spice., and the mint melody… . dandelion tea is really good for the kidneys and is a natural mild diuretic.Look in the herbal teas of your local big box store or a big supermarket that carries a good selection. There are also ones for tension.. one called tension tamer that tastes good… and sleeplessness..sleepy time…If you can get adequate rest and recovery for your kidneys, that may be part of the cause /need for b/p meds from the root.
          You got this.!

  9. TOP’s question
    1. Have you ever visited a wine cave or any cave for that matter?
    2. Did you get all you wanted for Christmas?
    3. Is your Christmas paid for or will you be paying into the new year?

    1. Laurel Caverns or is that taverns… LOL I usually have beer or Martinis in my man cave with the pool table and bar.
    2. No, didn’t get the time machine.
    3. Paid for, I mostly gave cash

    1. Thor1,
      I’ve done a lot of spelunking in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia; but, have also been to Laurel Caverns in western PA as a kid, unless there is more than one.
      My last question came from hearing reports on sales data, with Super Saturday sales hitting $34.4B, the biggest single day in retail history. Black Friday was $31.3B & Cyber Monday was also the biggest ever @ $11.8B with 48% online.
      There were also other networks telling us that just because there was tremendous spending for Christmas it doesn’t mean the economy is in good shape, since a lot of this was credit card debt. Thos networks are the same ones hoping for a recession.
      Actually in our case Christmas was put on a card; but, will be paid in full when due on Feb 2, 2020.

      1. Top, Laurel Caverns was an old haunt as well as Fort Necessity,.

        Amazing what our Founding Fathers called a fort..

        A cabin, a fence made out of small trees,a trench and 4 small cannons on the corners.

        1. Thor1,
          If your Laurel Caverns is near Fort Necessity then it has to be the same one. I’ve been to that fort a few times, Fort Pitt a few times and fort Bedford and the Bedford village museum a few times; but, my favorites and the cloest to where I grew up was Fort Lifonier.

          Amazing what our Founding Fathers called a fort..
          A cabin, a fence made out of small trees,a trench and 4 small cannons on the corners.

          Yep. Fort Bedford was also much like that with Pitt, a little better and Ligonier IMHO the best, since it sat on a hill overlooking the surrounding area with observation posts, sniper nests, and plenty of cannon.
          Bedford, Ligonier and I think Pitt sat along US Route 30, the old Lincoln highway so on a map you could see the logistics of the day.

          1. TOP and Thor1,

            As you guys probably know, Fort Necessity was built as a stopgap fighting position and a supply cache for the troops of George Washington. The battle of Fort Necessity was the first battle of the French and Indian Wars and good old George was actually a British officer in that one. It was his first command, his first battle, and the only one in which he surrendered.

            George kind of stuck his neck out a little too far thinking to capture Fort Duquesne and got chased back to Fort Necessity by more numerous French and Indian forces. The battle did not last long for several reasons, among them it was pouring rain, the fort was within musket range of a forest where the French took cover to fire on the fort, the Virginian militia troops got drunk, there weren’t that very many British regulars, and they didn’t have much in the way of supplies. The French offered terms that allowed Washington to leave with his arms and flags flying and he took the deal.

            Fort Necessity was really not intended to be much more than protection against stray Indians trying to steal supplies, not to hold off over 600 French soldiers and Indian allies.

            Told you I am a history nut. 🙂

          2. There are many caves in middle and eastern Tn, Northern Alabama and Ga. several are commercial and there are several that are not commercial. I havebeen in and thru several .. I have been to Ruby Falls several times over 45 years.. was one of places we took my daughter as a child for a field trip…
            got something for Christmas, that was enough…what we gave was all paid for w/o debt.

  10. I all, just checking in real quick. The LSU-Oklahoma game is about to come on. I got an Instant Pot and hiking boots for Christmas. I love the boots. They are from Eddie Bauer. Everything I order from they lasts for years. I also got two flannel shirts. I love the Instant Pot. So far I have cooked brown rice, sweet potatoes, carrots and a whole chicken. I’ll check back in later. Time to watch some college football!

    PS: My dh is recovering from heart attack. They had to put in another catheter–enlarged prostate. We’ll get that checked out next week. I am down with pneumonia and taking it easy.

    1. The twitter link didn’t work but the Iranian leader said we don’t have gun control here because of corruption.

      In Iran you cnn only own a handgun after obtaining 3 licenses. The ratio is 7.34 out of 100 people have handguns. No rifles.

      1500 people/ protesters have been killed since Iran raised the price of gas by %50.

  11. I did my low-carb grocery shopping this week. Added a little to my stash as usual. Did some weekly cooking.

    Another very slow prepping week for me. Lots of Christmas activities. Just concentrated on adding some food to the stash.

    I did buy myself a non-prep Christmas gift. A modern translation and copy of the Domesday Book from 1086 in Britain. I’m a bit of a history nut, particularly that of the US and Britain. As my last name is an Anglo-Saxon place name in England, the Domesday Book provided some info on my “hometown” as it were, from 1086. It is still a town in Staffordshire, England to this day.

    The Domesday Book was the result of a massive property survey done on the order of King William the Conqueror so he could accurately assess taxes and fees. Nothing of this scope has ever been done in the history of the world. What’s more, the original two-volume work still exists in England’s National Archives. Actually, at the time it was completed, the book was known as “The King’s Book.” It didn’t become known as the Domesday Book (pronounced “doomsday”) until sometime in the 12th Century as a kind of joke and the name stuck.

    While the book doesn’t have a huge amount of info on my “hometown,” it does provide some tidbits as to who the lord was, etc (the Bishop of Chester), and its size (roughly). There is information on some other things like amounts of fines for law breaking, such as breaking the peace was up to an 8-pound fine, which was huge money in those days. Probably close to $10,000 USD today. I suspect breaking the peace then involved more serious behavior than just being drunk in public and loud. No peasant had a prayer of affording a fine like that. The Bishop, on the other hand, could probably pay it out of petty cash.

    Christmas went well here, and Granddaughter made out like a bandit. She’s old enough now to know what is going on and have a lot of fun. And she did. 😊

    This Week’s Questions:

    1. What are your top 3 prepping plans for 2020?

    I haven’t really thunk this out. I want to keep my food stash up to date and continue expanding it, but otherwise I think I will just go with the flow.

    2. What is the biggest prepping bargain you have ever scored?

    Probably getting a brand-new Blackhawk Stomp II medical pack given to me by a Green Beanie friend.

    3. Where is your go to place or type of venue to find prepping bargains?

    Don’t really have a special place. I get them where I find them.

  12. I didn’t get to respond to my last week about why I’m tired of the extra questions, it’s not a first amendment , it just gets out of hand because now several people, are doing their own question, and I come here to learn not to read all the bantering back and forth between a few people, sorry if I stepped on your toes, do whatever you want I guess Tara, dosen’t care if you do it since she hadn’t asked you all to stop it. To me it just interferes with trying to read what people, have done that week to prepare, and it’s mostly bantering back and forth that all. I wish everyone a Happy New year.

    1. MO3, Forewarned is forearmed a phrase by a 1768 Abraham Tucker a prepper.

      The definition of this is knowledge. If you know what is currently going on, you would know what to prepare for.
      I respect others opinions and thoughts and questions as I might learn more as well.

      Would you not want to know that an event was going to happen?

      Examples: Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, pandemics,food shortages,wars ect.

      They help you to prepare for what is coming and give an advanced notice so you can react.

      What we have at Tara’s site is great because of like minded individuals all across the country and some even from foreign countries all sharing their thoughts,ideas and knowledge. Yourself included.

    2. Mom of Three,
      I get it , it is distracting to an extent. it is also revealing about the concerns of others . Knowing that i saw an article and it sent me a red flag high, and someone else responded the same way…makes me aware I am NOT alone in MY concern. The light banter breaks the seriousness that surrounds each of us as we struggle with our preparedness level.
      .Please do not let the mutual respect beng shown here for others of like minded ness become a roadblock for you.
      Please consider the banter as a true sign of respect each of us gives the other. Just scan the banter and move on down…it is what I do. If i do not want to respond to a question or can add nothing to the info- I just set it aside.
      I will often go back and slowly read several weeks posts at one time.as time permits to gain valuable information on: for example. the potato harvest and situation as posted by old homesteader… I learned how to put these up this past week by dehydration…in certain manner… for a super taster… we don’t have a lot but an extra sack of potatoes can give several meals or carbs to add to a meal.getting seed potatoes may be the hardest chore this year…
      sometimes the questions pose things to consider..as possible preps, as optional plans,or concerns.
      It depends on what we do with these questions, as to how we respond. we can use them as a stepping stone of understanding or a roadblock to answers… it is our choice individually.

      This week we were asked questions in 3 different categories.. prepping/planning/ .. national and international reports and caves/ satisfaction w/ holiday… in a way to give those leaning w/prepared mind. ..to pause and consider what areas they might have to use…There are a huge number of Chinese solders south of us, in at least 2 countries.knowing they may well done blue caps and be an opposing force s worth preparing for, as are knowing where any small caves or shelters are that could give a safe place to rest in a troubled time.Some of the preps posted on this site are awesome. Being self employed and debt free is quite an accomplishment. Those who are satisfied with gifts, often have a maturity that can be passed on to others…thru skill sets and other teaching opportunities. Whether one chooses to answer or not, matters not, if you are able to consider happiness comes from within each of us and not from things.
      There are many things a family can prep for and many are futher into different aspects than am.. Some of the questions asked and answered in this form have added to my knowledge base of things i previously knew nothing about. When/ Is something i am not ready to study on, i skip it and go to another posting. at least the info is here and remains available as long as the internet and this site is up.
      Most of us do prepping and some do not want to post daily preps and some post detail i could do without. .I scan long posts and repetitions. I rarely shop for anything on line, and rarely SHOP. I hate the activity..I like to know who has the price/product i need and go pick it up.If i am needing a certain item i will look in thrift stores or tell others who frequent those to look for me….
      I do not choose to post everything I do. I do choose to post things that might give others ideas or help others. as for my preps, Some things are best left (period)…. While Things like how many cans of green beans when dehydrated, will fit into a pint jar might be useful for someone crunched for space…
      Hang in here Mom of 3, you are also important to this community…we know you have struggles like the rest of us and want you to do well .

    3. HI ALL ,,just a short tonight for the week ,tired to exhaustion ,,meetings , family ,,,cows ,the ranch ,stuff I can’t talk about ,,,,

      MOM OF 3 ,,,if I may ,as a great grandfather , 7 kids I call mine of sorts 22 grands ,4 great grands. You need to stay strong ,i still have kids (55yr old ) come to me ,asking how’s and why’s and why not ,if your weak that won’t happen ,be strong. Reach inside you and you can find what you need ,

      See you all next year , what is the message in Atlas shrugged? ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, hope,,,,,,,for some ,

      Tea and chocolate

  13. Tara’s questions:
    Top 3 prepping items.
    1)Find new bare root fruit trees to replace the ones the deer consumed for their 3 meals a day, fence them so the trees do not look like shrubs. Pack the small green house up & down to the sisters so it can be assembled inside her garden. Repairs on the place that have gone far to long without being taken care of do murphy showing up.
    2) FGB(food grade buckets)before the grocery stores stopped letting the customers have them.
    3) New Year’s resolutions, none

    Purchased a Berkey water filtering unit because we have hard water. When I get into HD will pick up the Ryobi tool for a late Christmas present.

  14. Bam Bam,,,,
    Hope you and DH are doing much better very soon.
    It has been raining and fog here. Water standing 2″ in a lot of places and 8″ down by the barn.cows are enjoying motherhood and calves running figure 8s.
    Christmas week does not seem like a lot got accomplished. Bull launched 12′ gate at horse. Tore screw in bolts clear out of the posts, broke the posts. To much testosterone during sparring. It is a guy thing. I drove t posts into the ground and chained and locks to hold them in place, just left enough room between posts to pull tractor thru. If there is a next time, I am dropping back 5 feet and setting another gate. That way the horse can not reach the bull’s horns to bite on them. That makes the bull furious. Murphy even shows up at Christmas, he is getting a lump of coal in his stocking. USPS tried to deliver more seeds ordered. Second time he crossed the road backing, jumped up into ditch, now I have to go to post office to pick up package. The big brown USP truck can come here, but the little USPS white truck goes over into the ditch twice now. That guy Murphy must have been driving both times. We are all learning to keep a good since of humor this week.
    I am so greatful for this site and all of you.
    Happy New Year! Let’s leave that guy , Murphy in 2019.

    God is good

  15. i heard about a couple shootings on public radio this morning, the first was about a church in texas where a man in a trench coat pulled out a rifle and started shooting, only to be quickly shot down by volunteer security (txas just passed a law allowing people to carry guns in churches), it was caught on film, several people in the pews also pulled their own guns and started moving to confront the rifleman.

    here is a link
    https://nypost.com/2019/12/29/texas-church-shooting-leaves-2-dead/

    there was also a series of attacks on Jewish communities in ny that was being discussed, especially a 4 hour standoff at a koser grocery store, 2 gunmen wandered around shooting people in the area then went into the store, nobody made any effort to challenge them as nobody was armed. police finally arrived and after several hours killed both gunmen, the incident also killed one cop. ny responded by increasing police patrols and declaring guns a menace and that nyc is the safest city in the world because they have strict gun controls and an army of cops. the governer went out making speeches about stamping out hate speech and claiming america is rotting, and talked about attacks against queers, blacks, latinos an jews.

    i bet if a few of the people in the jewish community were armed the gunmen would have been stopped before the cops even showed up, given the history of crap the jews have had to endure i am surprised they don’t all carry guns, an rmed population doesn’t make for easy victims, instead the jewish community had to wait in fear for plice to come and respond for them.

    figured i would share what i heard about these 2 incidents.

    1. nemoseto,

      I’m sure you are quite right about if the Jews in NYC were armed. The church in Texas is a prime example.

      If you think back to the Rodney King verdict riots in LA, black rioters tried to invade the area known as Little Korea. Sadly for the rioters, the Korean store owners were armed and protected their stores on the street level and from rooftops. The rioters left for easier pickings.

      It helped that California wasn’t as stupid with their guns laws then as they are now.

      1. Zulu 3-6,

        If you think back to the Rodney King verdict riots in LA, black rioters tried to invade the area known as Little Korea. Sadly for the rioters, the Korean store owners were armed and protected their stores on the street level and from rooftops. The rioters left for easier pickings.

        There was a follow-up to that story for a few store owners. After 48 hours if IIRC some national guard troops arrived and allowed the Korean store owners to take a break; but, during that break, several of those stores were burnt down.

        I’m glad I live in a state with reasonable gun laws, since I know the old definition: ”Citizens are armed, Subjects are unarmed” and I refuse to be a subject.

    2. Nemoseto,

      i heard about a couple shootings on public radio this morning, the first was about a church in texas where a man in a trench coat pulled out a rifle and started shooting, only to be quickly shot down by volunteer security

      Public radio? I’m surprised they even covered such an event.
      Actually the guy who started it was using a shotgun and did get off shots killing 2 parishioners at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, TX near Fort Worth.
      Texas legislators passed the law allowing concealed carry in churches after 26 people were killed in an attack at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs outside San Antonio about 2 years ago. Joe Biden criticized Texas politicians when that law was passed, which IMHO makes him not only corrupt, senile and stupid; but, dangerous.
      Ohio already has provisions for carrying in churches, with permission of the management.
      The attack on the kosher grocery in NYC was only one incident, with the most recent a machete attack on a group at the home of a Rabbi. People at that gathering tried to fend off the attacker with chairs and other items, since NYC only allows police and the politically connected to have firearms, making the city quite safe, at least for criminals.
      I have been very heartened to see interviews with law enforcement from all stripes and regions discussing the Texas shooting & response, repeat something many of us have often said: ”It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.”
      Another of my favorites concerns self defense vs. calling 911 and hoping for help.
      ”If you call 911, remember. When seconds count, help is only minutes away.”

    1. Thor1,

      I find it odd that there are no recalls from the midwest to the Pacific coast….

      Interesting the recalls going on in other parts of the world…

  16. Happy New Year everyone… May you have a blessed 2020. I have a feeling it’s going to be a rough year.

    Also, in case anyone is interested, Homestead Rescue’s new series comes on Discovery channel Thurs night (tomorrow) at 8pm ET. Noticed they have reruns all day tomorrow starting at 9am ET. Then after the new episode, they have more reruns…

  17. Hello Pack,

    Dan received an email that The Ohio Prepper passed away. I just wanted to confirm the information and thank the Pack member who shared. I would like to include information about TOP in the column for the weekend and share condolences to the family, if possible.

    1. Oh my gosh! No way, TOP lives forever in his post. I have to admit, he was my favorite among all the posters.
      Please post obituary information when you have a chance.
      Cliff

    2. I was literally about to send an email to TOP about something I discovered and verified as true. I guess I will post it here later as it too is something of community interest.

      Rest in Peace my friend. I will miss your posts, wry humor, and advice.

    3. Yes, I got an email yesterday from a friend of his, Rob Jostes – I figured it best to first confirm the news before posting anything the weekly preps column, so if anyone can confirm this, please let us know.. Tx

      Dan

      1. Dan,

        I was just on the FB page of TOP’s sister. She has posted that TOP passed away on New Years Eve. She did not report a cause, but he did have cardiac issues and had a pacemaker, so that could have been a cause.

        I think you can access my email. If so, email me on a address you don’t mind me knowing (which I will not share) and I’ll send back the sister’s FB page link.

    4. Thank you for confirming. He will be surely be missed – always had so much knowledge to share and really reached out to everyone in the Pack. Rest in peace.

  18. I am saddened like all of you about Ohio Prepper passing. I was equally shocked. He enjoyed this site as much as we enjoyed his knowledge base and banter with Zulu3-6.
    My prayers go out to his wife and rest of family. Wish we could all sign a sympathy card and send his wife.
    RIP Ohio Prepper

    1. I have his physical mailing address, but not sure how to get it to those that want to send a card if I don’t have an e-mail address to send it to. I don’t know if I sent it to Dan, if he would be willing to give it anyone asking for it.

      Or I could get a card, and for those I don’t have an e-mail address for to send you his address, I could send it on behalf of those that tell me to sign your name.

      Jean, I will call you.

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